Revisiting the Revolution

February 13, 2006

Mark asked for responses to George Barna’s latest book, Revolution.  I promised to do so and I have now published a full review, available here.  It may spark some further discussion — at least I hope so.  In one sense, the book is something of a poison pill for evangelical Christianity.  Oddly enough, some denominational publishing houses (insert great SBC embarrassment here) have even advertised the book prominently, causing me to paraphrase Vladimir Lenin to the effect that when it comes time to hang the evangelicals, the evangelicals will fight over the contract for the rope.

Almost everything Barna says about the shortcomings and failures of evangelical churches is accurate.  Superficiality and worse mark so many churches, and it is no wonder that so many believers never develop into mature Christians and so many churches never experience the power and glory of God in congregational life.  Unfortunately, Barna’s approach is even worse — abandoning the local church altogether as the normative context for Christian involvement.

I say much more in the review, so I will leave it there.  But there is something seriously and tragically wrong with a book that includes just this one sentence alone:  There is nothing inherently wrong with being involved in a local church.